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Monday, May 21, 2012

more than cookies, pt. 1

I was looking at some favorite posts and this one from 2009 is worth sharing again! 
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Last weekend was a highlight in ministry and personal experience of worship. There were two reasons for this, though either one alone would have been a "highlight."

Highlight #1 - Sunday, March 15 (2009)

The first was last Sunday morning. It was "Girl Scout Sunday." This simply meant that the Girl Scouts who use our church were invited to come participate in worship: ushering, reading scripture, and sharing briefly during the announcements about who they are and what they do (besides cookies!).

"Simply" misses what happened altogether. There are two troops that meet in our church. One is a brownie troop (6 yr. olds) that we started. It's about half church kids and half from our nearby neighborhoods. The other is an older troop (11 yr. olds) who are all from the nearby neighborhood. They were meeting in the neighborhood clubhouse, but when it burned down about a year ago we offered them space to meet.

I remember some of the discussion when we started offering space to neighborhood groups free of charge. How is it explicitly evangelistic? How does it advance the Kingdom? We concluded that it was an expression of being a good neighbor and even if there was no direct evangelistic application, it was still a good witness and worth doing.

I had chosen the scripture text some two months ago, not knowing at that point about "Girl Scout Sunday." We had also unwittingly scheduled the children's choir to sing. In fact, until close to the last minute, the Girl Scouts were coming the previous Sunday, but when they found out I would be out of town we moved it to the 15th. So, the way the Sunday fell, I was preaching on James 2, on favoritism in the church. Funny how that worked - the sermon was on Christians not making church all about their favorite things and favorite people, but learning to follow the heart of God for the people of the world - our neighbors living right around us.

The 11:00 service was rather circus-like in that there was so much unusual stuff going on. Kids singing, moving, a long (but awesome) children's sermon, girl scouts doing stuff in an unfamiliar context. Anyway, at about 11:45 I got up to preach and gave a shortened version of the same sermon.

The long and the short of it - through a simple act of opening up a room in our church a couple of nights a month, we had the opportunity to meet, worship with, and hear God's Word on a very relevant topic with 23 young girls and their family and friends. And the scouts asked us if they could come to worship!

Check back tomorrow for highlight #2, which followed the very next day!!


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